This is not the first time the US has attempted to criminalize Assange.
September 28, 2012, 08:00 EST
A recent report reveals Julian Assange and Wikileaks to be on the US list for “enemies of the State,” along with Al Qaeda. The documents “record a probe by the air force’s Office of Special Investigations into a cyber-systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London.”
According to the documents, military personnel “who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with ‘communicating with the enemy’, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death,” said the news outlet.
This is not the first time the US has attempted to criminalize Assange. In 2010, Joe Biden declared him to be a “high-tech terrorist”. The US has punitively hounded Assange through legal and extra-legal methods—soon after Wikileaks hit mainstream news, Assange was slapped with a sexual abuse and rape in Sweden now looks to be falling apart based on lack of legal evidence.
Assange supporters see the Swedish case as part of the US war against Wikileaks. Assange has taken refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador (the country which offered him legal asylum); even as the US demands that he be extradited to the US and face military detention.
In the same document, it was revealed that US military personnel contacting Wikileaks may face execution “for communicating with the enemy.” The document involves a US airforce analyst based in UK attending Assange’s court hearings and meeting with pro-WikiLeaks activists in London.
Assange had a scathing response to the revelation that he has been designated an “enemy of the State”. For example, “that the US military should designate me and all of WikiLeaks as the enemy in its formal investigation, an investigation that carries a death-penalty offense into a person who was alleged to have come to my extradition hearing,” he said. “And in the same document it speaks about the victim being that of society, when there is no allegation that any documents have been released or published by us.” Assange believes that the report exemplified the “absurdist, neo-McCarthyist fervor that exists within some of the government departments in the US.”
Assange’s house arrest didn’t prevent him from participating in the UN General Assembly via video conference. In his address, he drew parallels between himself and the Arab Spring by claiming that they had all been let down by Obama, according to the AP. Assange also charged the US with using the Arab Spring to advance its policy goals and for electoral appeals. “It must come as a surprise to Tunisians for Barack Obama to say the US supported the forces of change in Tunisia," he said.